How to Survive Christmas!
Christmas is a season of giving, reflection and thanks. It is also the season of stress, sleepless nights and exhaustion. We spend so much time running around, going from work to home to parties and get togethers; trying to fit every last little thing into those jam packed 24 days that by the time we make it to Christmas Day we are either too tired to enjoy it or still running around like a chook with our head chopped off making sure every last detail is perfect.
Sounds exhausting, right? A tad stressful? You spend the time worrying about every little thing, feeling the need to tear your hair out and your stress levels sky rocket. Your anxiety levels peak and you end up running on adrenaline trying to do everything and be everywhere.
Here’s where I come in. I’ve put together 10 tips to help you not only survive but thrive throughout this season and well into the new year.
Make a List
As the Christmas Carol goes “he’s making a list, checking it twice”, and so should you. Lists are a great way to get on top of everything you need to achieve throughout this season. Making a list of tasks you need to complete for the day, week or month can help you achieve your goals and focus on what needs to be done. There is nothing so satisfying as crossing off each task and knowing where to go next. Making a list for food shopping or gift shopping can also help you remember everything you need to buy and know you haven’t forgotten anything. No last-minute runs to the shop for you.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Now, we have all been there. Not enough sleep can make us impatient, short-tempered and cranky. Or maybe that’s just me. Sleep is essential to your health. It is important in restoring both physical and mental health as well as refreshing the mind. Sleep helps with healing and growing, keeps the immune system strong, controls your weight and appetite and helps you stay focused. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood and concentration among other things. The saying goes “things always look better after a good night’s sleep” which is true. We can function better, have more energy and focus on what our day is bringing. Sleep is vital to making it through this time of year unscathed. For tips to help sleep better click here.
How much water do you drink per day? Is it a glass or two? A litre? Two litres? Do you know how much water your body needs to function at optimal levels? The answer to this depends on a lot of things including the weather, your gender, exercise, if you’ve been sick or are pregnant. A general rule to follow is 2-3 litres of water per day. Water is required for every cell, tissue and organ. Not enough can make you feel tired and drain your energy as you become dehydrated. So, with all those Christmas parties and catch ups coming up, remember to keep hydrated. Drink water through out the day and while you are drinking alcohol (if you chose to do so). With summer coming up, drink water all day to keep hydrated.
Drink in Moderation
If you’re anything like me, your calendar is full of family functions, catching up with friends you haven’t seen in months and celebrating surviving another year at work without tearing your hair out (mostly). In these types of situations, alcohol is a very common part of the celebration. Now, I’m not saying don’t drink, sometimes a glass of wine or a beer is just what the doctor ordered. What I am saying is MODERATION. Instead of having drink after drink, try changing it up. How about with every second drink have a glass of water, order a soft drink or even have a virgin cocktail. Believe me your head and liver will thank you the next day when you wake up without feeling like your head is going to explode. Especially when you know you have another function on that night.
Everything in Moderation
It’s OK to eat anything you want, but just remember MODERATION. It’s all about not over eating. When you stomach says its full STOP eating. If you feel like a piece of cake, have a piece of cake. If you feel like some fruit, have some fruit. If you’d like some slice and nuts, go ahead. You just need to limit how much you consume of foods that are indulgent or even limit just how much food you consume in general, but we will get to that. Instead of eating a huge slice of cake or pie, how about sharing it with someone else. Or instead of having a piece of each dessert available, maybe just pick the one you are most looking forward to. It’s all about making SMART decisions and realising you don’t need that extra bit of cake, no matter how tasty it is.
Smaller portion sizes
Here’s where we talk about how much food you consume. Over Christmas the amount of food we consume is kind of ridiculous. I know I’m guilty of eating until I feel like I’m going to explode, and I know I’m not the only one. The trick here is smaller portion sizes. It’s so easy to just take a scoop of everything, pile your plate high and eat your way through a mountain of food. So how do we stop overeating: smaller portion sizes. There is so much good food to choose from it’s easy to get carried away, how about instead of a full scoop of that creamy broccoli and cauliflower have half a scoop or a third of it. Instead of eating four potatoes eat one or two. Even grabbing a smaller plate can help keep the portion sizes down. When filling your plate, don’t pile your food into a mountain. Make sure every item you have put on your plate is touching the plate, not just resting against the rest of the food you have on it. If you are still hungry you can go back and get seconds. Just listen to your stomach, take a break between mouthfuls, chew your food and enjoy it. Your body will receive the message you are full, STOP eating.
We all talk about the importance of exercise in our life. We know that it is good for us, we know it keeps us healthy and we know we need to do it. However, when we get busy, for most people, it is the first thing to drop off the list of things to do. It’s always an “I’ll do this later”, except we get busier and busier and we don’t go out and do it. While exercising is great at keeping your body healthy, it is also fantastic at keeping your mind healthy. It’s a great for stress levels and boosting moods. So, this silly season, don’t let your exercise drop off your daily schedule. Get up with the sun and go for a walk. With daylight savings it’s getting darker later so go for a walk with the kids after tea. Let them ride their bikes while you take some time out in nature and release all those happy hormones. Joining a class can also be a fantastic way to get moving and with the sun heating up, you can’t go past swimming to keep cool. I know that I am one to let other things get in the way from exercising, so I try to get up an hour before I have to a walk around the lake with my puppy. She loves it and so do I. It leaves me feeling good and that I can face whatever the day throws at me.
Do something just for you
During this time of year, we are getting pulled in so many different directions and have little time for ourselves. We end up worn out and run down and it’s not even Christmas yet. We make our cups so full it’s over flowing and then spend time fighting crowds and attending parties that we forget about ourselves. Our own health and well-being get put on the back burner and becomes one of those New Years Resolutions to do better or be healthier as we forgot about ourselves during this season. So, my gift to you is to do something that is just for you. It can be with other people but the purpose of it is to treat yourself. It could be finding a quiet corner at home to drink a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, I’m not picky) and read a novel, or have a peaceful bath full of bath salts and bubbles to relax after a long day. Whatever fills your cup and makes you happy, indulge in that. Go for a walk outside, climb a mountain, spend the day in bed. Do whatever makes you feel good and do it more than once. Take care of you this Christmas season so you don’t burn out before the fun begins.
Don’t worry about overindulging
Overindulging, we all do it. It’s something we know we shouldn’t do, but it feels so good. Now I’m not talking about eating so much you’re going to puke, what I am talking about is having a piece of apple pie with cream or some cheesecake for dessert when you normally wouldn’t. I’m here to tell you that it’s OK. Have that piece of pie or cake and enjoy it, savour it. Don’t feel guilty about it. Why should you miss out on the good things when you don’t need to? As long as you don’t eat the entire cake, and hey we’ve all been there, it’s OK. Personally, I don’t really follow a diet plan I just follow the 80/20 rule. This means 80% healthy and 20% indulgent. Don’t forget to feed your soul with the fun foods of the season and don’t feel guilty if you do eat more than you think you should. Go for it. Enjoy it. And start again tomorrow, it’s not the end of the world.
Now this tip is the last one but the most important one to follow. HAVE FUN!!!! Enjoy the season. Smile and laugh and be merry. Christmas is the time for joy and yet we forget to stop and take it all in as we are so busy going from pillar to post and rushing around. So, STOP; Take a second; Look around you. Bask in the magic that is Christmas and relax. No one will care if something is not perfect. Take time to enjoy the season with the people most important to you and HAVE FUN.
I hope my tips will help you enjoy your Christmas and survive the craziness it brings. For more information feel free to read some of the other blogs found here or get in contact with me to start those New Years Resolutions today.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with love and laughter.